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Buy for $28.35
Brought to you by Penguin.
The Phantom of the Opera is Gaston Leroux's exquisite blend of Gothic horror and tragic romance that formed the basis for a world-renowned stage musical. This Penguin Classics edition is translated with notes by Mireille Ribiere and an introduction by Jann Matlock.
When the new managers of the Paris Opera House ignore their predecessors' warnings about the hideous 'Opera ghost' stalking the theatre, it is a fatal mistake. The Phantom haunts the imagination of the beautiful and talented singer Christine Daaé, appearing to her as the 'Angel of Music' - a disembodied voice, coaching her to sing as she never could before. When Christine is courted by a handsome young viscount, the Phantom is consumed by jealousy and seeks revenge. And when Christine suddenly disappears after a triumphant singing performance, it becomes clear that the Phantom's time has come.
With its pervading atmosphere of menace, tinged with dark humour, The Phantom of the Opera (1910) has inspired film, stage and literature since its publication, including Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera, the most successful theatrical show of all time. Mireille Ribière's highly enjoyable and historically accurate translation captures the drive and drama of Leroux's vivid tale and is accompanied by extensive notes and further reading. Jann Matlock's fascinating new introduction examines the Phantom's legacy and uncovers the real secrets hidden in the Paris Opera House.
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The Phantom of the Opera
I have been hoping an audiobook of this particular translation would be made, since most translations that have come before have been slightly shoddy and careless and I am all the happier that it has finally happened. I am a huge Phantom fan and the original story has a certain charm to it. Rather than being the sensuous, erotically charged storyline that the musical favours, it is a dark, Gothic, pseudo-supernatural, suspenseful, thrilling horror-based mystery narrative that made Gaston Leroux famous.
The story is insane! But it is a story that does not fail to thrill or hold the attention of the reader/listener all the way through. The epistolary way the novel is written is wonderful, like a literary investigation presenting to us the notion that the story is as real as can be. Leroux has been very clever to merge his intensive knowledge of the Opéra Garniér in Paris to give his audience an authentic look into what it is like to wander such a place as the opera house in which the story takes place.
The book is a masterpiece. Much better than is given credit and remains an intensely thrilling and readable and at times frightening read. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves the show, so they can see what their beloved Phantom comes from; and I would recommend this to fans of opera and theatre life, to musicians and actors and fellow writers. It is definitely a book that should be enjoyed by everyone. It is also a testament that there are worse things than shattered chandeliers.